Date of birth: 30-11-1947
This farmer's son was born in 1948 in the village of St Buryan, West Cornwall. After leaving school he worked as a carpenter and after his apprenticeship went to work in a tin mine.

Jethro started in show business singing traditional songs in Cornish pubs. At the age of 18, he joined a local operatic society. But he discovered he could get laughs, too, and so became a comic.

Although rarely seen on TV, he sells more than 250,000 theatre seats a year and does a roaring trade on video.

His few small-screen outings include The Des O'Connor Show, where he appeared a record nine times, and five appearances on Jim Davidson’s Generation Game, twice to make a Cornish Pasty.

He has hosted two shows for West Country ITV station HTV, The Jethro Junction, and in December 2001 appeared in the Royal Variety show in front of the Queen.

Jethro lives in Lewdown on the Devon/Cornwall border. His passions are his show horses, golf, and rugby, having played prop-forward for Penzance and Newlyn for ten years from 1967.

In 1993 Jethro released his first video A Portion of Jethro, which sold nearly 150,000 copies, a success which he has followed up with another nine titles.

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Jethro announces his retirement

Comic to 'hang up his mic' after 50 years in the business

Veteran Cornish comedian Jethro has announced his retirement at the age of 72.

The stand-up  – whose real name is Geoff Rowe – has been a comedian for five decades and sold more than 4 million DVDs.

But he has today taken to Facebook to tell fans that he was packing it all in.

He said: ‘I think it’s time to hang up my Mic. It’s been a hard decision, But my memory has made it easier for me.

‘I will honour all my dates booked in, but as of the end of December I will no longer be working my theatre tours.

‘A great big thank-you to everyone that has come to see me over the last 50 years, I’m sure I enjoyed you’re company more than you enjoyed mine’

The news comes 18 months after he reportedly abandoned show in Devon after a shambolic performance in which he forgot his punchlines, and muttering something along the lines of 'I can't do this any more’ as he left the stage. At the time he was said to be ill while waiting for eye surgery.

After leaving school, Jethro worked as a carpenter and in a tin mine. At 18 he joined a local opera group and discovered a talent for making people laugh, so began touring the pubs of Cornwall to sing and joke. 

His career took off in the late 1980s and early 1990s with TV appearances including Des O’Connor Tonight, Jim Davidson’s Generation Game show, where he twice  demonstrated how to make a Cornish pasty, and a Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen. 

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Published: 24 Feb 2020

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